"One line of thought would have us believe that for fiction to be 'realistic' or 'edgy' or 'convicting,' it must also be void of redemption and tenderness and hope. But not only is that dishonest fiction, it’s also unrealistic fiction. For the Christian writer, to even make a pretense of writing a novel without hope, without grace, would be a lie and an affront to everything we believe. In truth, I don't think I would ever write another word...I don’t believe I could...if I had to work in such a bleak, desolate climate."--Author B.J. Hoff on "writing grace"
"Hail Alma Mater, Knights so True"
OK, so I'm old. I got an e-mail this morning inviting me to my 30th high school reunion..yes, that's right, my 30th. Woodlawn High School, Shreveport, Louisiana, 'Class of '74.
I don't even know how they found me. I am in occasional touch with only one of my former classmates--the inimitable and wonderful Mary Durusau. Perhaps she gave them my e-mail address.
Anyway, it's planned for sometime in November. It will be almost impossible for me to go, and I'm sad about that. I would really have loved it. I actually have a lot of good memories of high school, especially the exciting football games, the frenetically enthusiastic pep rallies, working on the staff of the Woodlawn Herald newspaper, and wonderful and funny friends like the aforementioned Mary Durusau, Becky Hudsmith and Billy Schmidt. I had some terrific teachers who influenced me in longterm ways..Mrs. Henderson, Miss Rhodes and Mr. Robinson come to mind.
To this day I can sing the school song practically word-perfect:
"Hail Alma Mater, Knights so true
Clothed in scarlet and royal blue
Our faith and love we pledge to thee
Written high in liberty
Your laurels are vast and as sure as the dawn,
We praise thee forever and ever Woodlawn!"
Corny, I know. But it does recall a very different time and a very different--or then again, maybe not so different-- "me."
I was idealistic, romantic, and very melodramatic. I had all the basic tools of youth, but not yet having acquired any real wisdom or practical knowledge, I didn't have a clue how to make the most of them.
I did already have in place the core values that still make me who I am, spiritually and politically, although time and experience have made me less dogmatic about some things and more tolerant of the opinions of others. I already knew that whatever I did in life, I wanted it to involve writing, and that has materialized.
It's strange to look back at the girl I was then--long, long hair parted in the middle, trying to force it to be straight to keep up with the style. A lot slimmer then, but still convinced I was "fat." Well-liked among my schoolmates, approved by my teachers, but so lacking in self-confidence.
If I knew then the things I know now, would my life have turned out any differently?
OK, enough of this...it's getting way too deep. How about those Cubs? :)